Following a couple of steamy forays into Django-esque gypsy jazz, local vocal treasure Connie Evingson turns to the smart, sophisticated, witty, and frisky songs of St. Paul native Dave Frishberg on her terrific eighth album, Little Did I Dream (Minnehaha Music). Actually, the project is a dream fulfilled, because Evingson lured Frishberg back to his hometown to play jaunty piano on every track, hang with old pal Dave Karr (who chimes in on sax and flute), and share vocals on the very Minnesotan tune "Snowbound." Frishberg's lengthy career in New York and L.A. included piano-playing stints with the likes of Ben Webster and Carmen McRae, while his songs have been covered by dozens of premier singers, from Rosemary Clooney to Tony Bennett to Diana Krall. As has come to be expected from Evingson, she wraps herself in Frishberg's songs, using her sly, sinuous phrasing and wondrous tone to make them bloom, whether it's a wistful ballad like "Heart's Desire," a breezy trip to "Zanzibar," a swinging goof like "Can't Take You Nowhere," or the hipster-ish sizzle of "Peel Me a Grape." This CD-release show will include all the session musicians except Frishberg: Karr, drummer Phil Hey, bassist Gordy Johnson, alto saxophonist Mark Henderson. Phil Aaron will join them on piano.
Mon., Feb. 25, 7 p.m., 2008